Griefs. By Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

I measure every grief I meet
    With analytic eyes;
    I wonder if it weighs like mine,
    Or has an easier size.

    I wonder if they bore it long,
    Or did it just begin?
    I could not tell the date of mine,
    It feels so old a pain.

    I wonder if it hurts to live,
    And if they have to try,
    And whether, could they choose between,
    They would not rather die.

    I wonder if when years have piled —
    Some thousands — on the cause
    Of early hurt, if such a lapse
    Could give them any pause;

    Or would they go on aching still
    Through centuries above,
    Enlightened to a larger pain
    By contrast with the love.

    The grieved are many, I am told;
    The reason deeper lies, —
    Death is but one and comes but once,
    And only nails the eyes.

    There’s grief of want, and grief of cold, —
    A sort they call ‘despair;’
    There’s banishment from native eyes,
    In sight of native air.

    And though I may not guess the kind
    Correctly, yet to me
    A piercing comfort it affords
    In passing Calvary,

    To note the fashions of the cross,
    Of those that stand alone,
    Still fascinated to presume
    That some are like my own.